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    Miami-based designer Lisu Vega sells globally yet creates locally.

    Lisu Vega
    Lisu Vega at her studio in Little Haiti.

    Lisu Vega opens the door to the Little Haiti studio she shares with her artist husband, Juan Henriquez. She’s draped in a striking cobalt blue cape that covers her slight frame without overwhelming her completely. That’s because she made it by hand. Vega makes a lot of things by hand, creating what she likes to call “art to wear.”

    The 34-year-old Miami-born artist and fashion designer employs vibrant colors that pervaded her childhood in a small town near Maracaibo, Venezuela, and her adult life when she returned to Miami. “The bright blue skies here are so similar to there; both are so inspiring,” says Vega, who recently won a competition to design the flight attendant uniforms for a reincarnated Eastern Airlines, a household name in Miami for 65 years until it went out of business in 1991.

    Though it bears the same name, Vega clarifies, the new Eastern Airlines Group is not affiliated with the defunct carrier. And neither are her designs. “When I was 6, my mom’s friend was a super chic flight attendant for a Venezuelan airline,” she says. “I’m channeling her vibe and elegance for this project.”

    The fusion of glamour and function is what makes this self-taught designer’s collections so desirable for many of Miami’s most fabulous women, including Athina Klioumi de Marturet, the wife of the acclaimed Venezuelan composer and maestro of The Miami Symphony Orchestra, Eduardo Marturet. This summer, she commissioned Vega to create a silkscreen gown bearing a repetitive stylized image of Eduardo at work for the opening night of his ninth season with MISO.

    The iterative patterning technique is one of Vega’s signature moves. She says her indigenous roots taught her that you can’t worry too much about matching, which has allowed her to go wild with tribal imprints, collages, Japanese silhouettes, mod geometric forms, and African color combinations.

    One hundred percent of her line is made in Miami with primarily organic or upcycled (using useless/recycled goods and making them better) textiles, which poses a challenge as she competes against designers sourcing and producing elsewhere for much less. “You have to keep your priorities straight,” says Vega, a self-described “artist, mother, and an American.”

    One of her biggest priorities is her family, and she and her husband of 15 years are the proud parents of Julian, their 6-year-old son. She recalls how she breast-fed him for nearly two years while she worked at her desk, building her business; her designs are now carried in stores from Miami to Panama and Venezuela. “Without him, all of this would be impossible—he’s my inspiration.” Alessandra Gold Concept Store, 3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami, 786-518-3357


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    Conservation International's new Nature Is Speaking campaign seeks to redefine the conversation about the relationship between people and nature. In a series of short films, celebrities lend their voices to parts of nature, such as the rainforest, ocean, and redwood. All deliver an important message everyone needs to hear: Nature doesn't need people. People need nature.

    This week's film features Edward Norton as The Soil. Watch below and learn more on natureisspeaking.org


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    With Halloweekend officially over, it’s time to look back at the most memorable celebrity costumes. See 10 of our favorites below—from scary to wildly hilarious.

    Most Wicked Costume: Rachel Zoe as an Evil Queen

     

    Headed out as evil queen and the Huntsman with my @rbermanus #allhallowseve #meandmybabe #datenight xoRZ

    A photo posted by Rachel Zoe (@rachelzoe) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/RACHELZOE

    Rachel Zoe makes bad look good in a villainous evil queen costume.

    Most Whimsical Costume: Taylor Swift as a Pegacorn

     

    Cause, darling I'm a nightmare dressed like a PEGACORN. #HappyHalloween!

    A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/TAYLORSWIFT

    The "1989" recording artist fused two mystical creatures—Pegasus and a unicorn—into one downright dreamy Halloween costume. 

    Most Creative Costume: Lucy Hale as Twitter

     

    This year I go as the Twitter bird.

    A photo posted by Lucy Hale (@lucyhale) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/LUCYHALE

    Lucy Hale takes the cake for the most Tweet-worthy costume. 

    Cutest Family Costumes: Neil Patrick Harris and Family as Batman Characters

     

    Happy Halloween from Gotham City!!

    A photo posted by Neil Patrick Harris (@instagranph) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/INSTAGRANPH

    NPH and his adorable family take Halloween very seriously and this year was no different. Watch out, Gotham city!

    Most Rockin’ Costume: Jessica Alba as Slash

     

    #axlandslashforever #welcometothejungle @kellysawyer

    Fotka zveřejněná uživatelem Jessica Alba (@jessicaalba) dne

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/JESSICAALBA

    Jessica Alba and her pal, Kelly Sawyer, rocked Halloween by dressing up as Slash and Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses. 

    Most Iconic Costumes: Beyonce and Blue Ivy as Janet and Michael Jackson

     

    Janet and MJ

    Een foto die is geplaatst door Beyoncé (@beyonce) op

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/BEYONCE

    Bey and Blue Ivy paid homage to another royal family in the music industry by going as Janet and Michael Jackson. 

    Most Hilarious Costume: Katy Perry as a Flaming Hot Cheeto 

     

    IDFWU *drops mic*

    A photo posted by KATY PERRY (@katyperry) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/KATYPERRY

    The pop artist’s Flaming Hot Cheeto costume is the funniest (and spiciest) thing we’ve ever seen.

    Most Surprising Transformation: Colton Haynes as Princess Fiona

     

    Fifi danced her crown off last night. So much fun :) Makeup by @erikporn @rbfx @pocketstylistxx

    A photo posted by Colton Haynes (@coltonlhaynes) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/COLTONLHAYNES

    Using crazy-cool makeup and face prosthetics, Colton Haynes transformed into his “dream costume” as Princess Fiona from Shrek

    Best Gothic Costume: Kelly Osbourne as Magenta

     

    #Magenta #RockyHorrorPictureShow #BestabirthdaypartyEver

    A photo posted by Kelly Osbourne (@kellyosbourne) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/KELLYOSBOURNE

    Kelly Osbourne nailed the gothic look this Halloween by going as Magenta from the comedy-horror film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show

    And the Best Costume Award Goes to… Heidi Klum as a Butterfly

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/HEIDIKLUM

    The queen of Halloween won the holiday again this year by transforming into a colorful, elaborately detailed butterfly.


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    In November 1940, Miami's swingIng nightlife walked on water.

    Quarterdeck ClubRising above the waters of Biscayne Bay, Miami’s exclusive Quarterdeck Club was known for wild parties and famous patrons, here in 1941.

    The downside to being one of the most desired destinations in the world—where tourists from all corners of the earth descend for the sunny beaches, world-class nightlife, and up-and-coming art scene—is that it’s often hard to find a little privacy. Today Miami has Casa Tua’s club, Soho Beach House, and country clubs like Turnberry and La Gorce for the city’s high society to separate itself from the masses, but in 1940, there was the Quarterdeck Club. Life magazine dubbed the destination “a $100,000 play-place equipped with bar, lounge, bridge deck, dining room, and dock slips for yachts.”

    Located in Stiltsville, a one-time community of shacks built above the waters on the Biscayne Bay, the Quarterdeck Club was an oasis for wild parties, hobnobbing with the rich and famous, and, due to its location off the coast, activities that may not have been legal on the mainland. The members, who paid $150 upon invitation, called themselves commodores, and the parties were the talk of the town.

    The Quarterdeck Club was raided in 1949 for gambling, but no evidence was found. In 1950, a hurricane damaged the building and proved to be an even more destructive buzz kill, as the club fell from grace among the social elite. It stayed open until 1961, when a fire (rumored to have been started by the owner’s wife) forced the club to flame out for good. In its heyday, Stiltsville welcomed a raucous crowd that included Ted Kennedy, but today only seven of the more than two dozen structures remain. Also still standing: Miami’s undying affection for VIP parties and wild nights for the rich and famous.

    PHOTOGRAPHY BY HERBERT GEHR/THE LIFE IMAGES COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES


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    The latest in Miami dining news.

    Tavern on the Beach

    Fabio VivianiFabio Viviani opens his second restaurant, featuring familyfavorite recipes in Miami Beach

    A fan favorite of Top Chef season 5, Fabio Viviani clearly has had enough of the cold—he’s picked Miami as his home base and second location for his renowned Chicago Italian eatery, Siena Tavern. An atypical Italian joint, Siena Tavern fuses Viviani’s century-old Italian family recipes with modern-day American and Mediterranean influences. Classic standouts include lasagna, made using Mama Viviani’s recipe, and a notorious 12-ounce wagyu meatball that has its own Twitter account. The menu will be modified to fit the body-conscious South Beach culture, locally sourcing seafood for crudos and accessorizing the thinly sliced fish with Italian ingredients like fennel, garlic chips, and a peppercorn crust. 404 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305-534-5577

    Keys to the Kingdom

    Though the Champagne cocktails made tableside are a draw at the dapper Lilt Lounge, at the Epic Hotel, head bartender Dean Feddaoui has more up his sleeve. He uses fresh herbs to make house tonic, pairing it with Belvedere for a Bitter Truth. Hail a Champagne cart and order a Death in the Afternoon, an absinthe cocktail adapted from a drink invented by Ernest Hemingway himself. It pairs perfectly with the live jazz (some courtesy of a partnership with the National YoungArts Foundation) and oysters topped with cucumber granite and green-apple “caviar.” 270 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-351-7403

    Callecinco

    Porfirio’sPorfirio’s Degustacion de Ceviches.

    Miami isn’t necessarily known for its abundance of upscale Mexican restaurants. To change up the status quo, Porfirio’s has moved into the South of Fifth neighborhood. The restaurant proffers authentic Mexican fare in an elegant setting outfi tted with cathedral ceilings, teardrop lighting, and fl oor-to-ceiling glass-encased mezcal lockers. Standouts include charred octopus carnitas and chipotle meatballs that have been stuffed with a hard-boiled egg. 850 Commerce St., Miami Beach, 786-216-7675

    Viva La Veinte

    Get acquainted with Mexican culture and cuisine at Cantina La Veinte, a majestic high-end waterfront Mexican restaurant facing Brickell Key and Biscayne Bay at the Icon Brickell. Highlights include the stuffed chile guero (RIGHT), the butterfl y whole snapper with sauce options such as adobo and cilantro/serrano chili, and lobster tacos with chipotle sauce. 495 Brickell Ave., Miami, 786-623-6135

    Simply Cocina

    Food Network/Top Chef Telemundo star and local favorite Ingrid Hoffmann has been cooking up simple and delicious meals since 2000. Come November 9, her all-natural, gluten-free, non-GMO meal kits and spice blends will debut on the Home Shopping Network. Hoffmann designed the program for today’s hardworking generation that doesn’t have three hours to spare (all you need is 30 minutes) but wants to eat quality food, such as fideo paella or pisado chili with corn and red and black beans.


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    The latest in Miami culture.

    Eclectic Showcase

    El Mini MarketMichelle Leshem at El Mini Market.

    Charmingly referred to as “Wynwood’s biggest little market,” the El Mini Market was established in 2012 and once a month features an enchanting lineup of independent designers, tattoo artists, and artisans. The brainchild of local PR/marketing guru and design maven Michelle Leshem, the bazaar attracts more than 25 cutting-edge vendors the last Sunday of every month and is a good place to catch the ever-changing vibrancy of Miami’s most fascinating “new” neighborhood. Recently moved to the outdoor space of the beer garden and gastropub Brick House, El Mini Market is perfectly primed to show off the most fashionable people in the city. Open 3 PM–sundown during fall/winter. Brick House, 187 NW 28th St., Miami, 305-456-2629

    Revenge of the Nerds

    TigerDirectThe LG G Watch R (coming soon) is a new Android Wear smartwatch from LG.

    This fall, the Miami-based consumer electronics company TigerDirect is hosting an awe-inspiring interactive technology show at Marlins Park. In its third year, the celebration of all things tech will offer an expanded display of large-scale demonstrations to more than 12,000 attendees with pre-holiday showcases from premier brands in the consumer electronics industry, local tech start-ups, and the Miami business community. The event is free, but this year, for the first time, on-site purchasing will be available, so you can immediately wow your friends and colleagues with the absolute latest in innovative geek chic. TigerDirect Tech Bash 2014, November 7 at Marlins Park, 501 Marlins Way, Miami

    Fort Luaderdale International Film Festival

    Fort Lauderdale International Film FestivalLucky Stiff with Jason Alexander and Pamela Shaw.

    Going strong for nearly three decades, the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival continually brings countless celebrated films from all over the planet to a wider audience. This year is no different, with heavy hitters such as the new Woody Allen movie Magic in the Moonlight, starring Colin Firth, who poses as a Chinese magician on stage, or the highly anticipated sequel The Trip to Italy, which follows Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on a foodie road comedy through Italy. November 7–23, Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale

    Madama Butterfly

    Experience the splendor of Puccini’s world famous opera about the forbidden love between a Japanese geisha and an officer in the American Navy at the turn of the century. Opulent costumes and cherubic voices will make this presentation of Madama Butterfly by the Broward Center a night of memorable beauty. Tickets are $21–$200. December 4 and 6 at 7:30 PM, Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-462-0222

    Matsyahu at Mizner Park

    Matsyahu at Mizner Park

    America's foremost Orthodox Jewish musician is returning to South Florida on his Built to Survive Tour, celebrating the release of his latest album, Akeda. The album mixes the eclectic vibes of reggae, soul, and rap along with a spiritual journey of the artist. Matisyahu is always surprising, and his emergence on the national stage over the last 10 years has been fascinating to watch. His music is artfully experimental, and he delivers his lyrics with harmonic honesty, making his live shows a treat you won’t want to miss when he comes to Mizner Park. November 8 at 7:30 PM, Mizner Park, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; ticketmaster.com

    PHOTOGRAPHY BY GARY JAMES (LESHEM); MARK FELLMAN (LUCKY STIFF); ROD MILLINGTON (MADAMA BUTTERFLY); JACK DUGAN (MATISYAHU)


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    The latest culture news from Miami.

    El Mini MarketMichelle Leshem at El Mini Market.

    Eclectic Showcase: Charmingly referred to as “Wynwood’s biggest little market,” the El Mini Market was established in 2012 and once a month features an enchanting lineup of independent designers, tattoo artists, and artisans. The brainchild of local PR/marketing guru and design maven Michelle Leshem, the bazaar attracts more than 25 cutting-edge vendors the last Sunday of every month and is a good place to catch the ever-changing vibrancy of Miami’s most fascinating “new” neighborhood. Recently moved to the outdoor space of the beer garden and gastropub Brick House, El Mini Market is perfectly primed to show off the most fashionable people in the city. Open 3 PM–sundown during fall/winter. Brick House, 187 NW 28th St., Miami, 305-456-2629

    TigerDirectThe LG G Watch R (coming soon) is a new Android Wear smartwatch from LG.

    Revenge of the Nerds: This fall, the Miami-based consumer electronics company TigerDirect is hosting an awe-inspiring interactive technology show at Marlins Park. In its third year, the celebration of all things tech will offer an expanded display of large-scale demonstrations to more than 12,000 attendees with pre-holiday showcases from premier brands in the consumer electronics industry, local tech start-ups, and the Miami business community. The event is free, but this year, for the first time, on-site purchasing will be available, so you can immediately wow your friends and colleagues with the absolute latest in innovative geek chic. TigerDirect Tech Bash 2014, November 7 at Marlins Park, 501 Marlins Way, Miami

    Fort Lauderdale International Film FestivalLucky Stiff with Jason Alexander and Pamela Shaw.

    Film Fest: Going strong for nearly three decades, the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival continually brings countless celebrated films from all over the planet to a wider audience. This year is no different, with heavy hitters such as the new Woody Allen movie Magic in the Moonlight, starring Colin Firth, who poses as a Chinese magician on stage, or the highly anticipated sequel The Trip to Italy, which follows Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on a foodie road comedy through Italy. November 7–23, Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale

    Madama Butterfly: Experience the splendor of Puccini’s world famous opera about the forbidden love between a Japanese geisha and an officer in the American Navy at the turn of the century. Opulent costumes and cherubic voices will make this presentation of Madama Butterfly by the Broward Center a night of memorable beauty. Tickets are $21–$200. December 4 and 6 at 7:30 PM, Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 954-462-0222

    Matsyahu at Mizner Park

    Matsyahu at Mizner Park: America's foremost Orthodox Jewish musician is returning to South Florida on his Built to Survive Tour, celebrating the release of his latest album, Akeda. The album mixes the eclectic vibes of reggae, soul, and rap along with a spiritual journey of the artist. Matisyahu is always surprising, and his emergence on the national stage over the last 10 years has been fascinating to watch. His music is artfully experimental, and he delivers his lyrics with harmonic honesty, making his live shows a treat you won’t want to miss when he comes to Mizner Park. November 8 at 7:30 PM, Mizner Park, 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; ticketmaster.com

    PHOTOGRAPHY BY GARY JAMES (LESHEM); MARK FELLMAN (LUCKY STIFF); ROD MILLINGTON (MADAMA BUTTERFLY); JACK DUGAN (MATISYAHU)


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    These glamorous Miami properties were made for hosting friends during the holidays.

    Penthouse room with pool table and ocean views.

    With its open floor plan, the circular main room of this 8,400-square-foot penthouse allows guests to flow through the three stages of any good party: first cocktails on the couches in the center of the room, then dinner with a view of the beach, and a round of pool (and a few more drinks) to end the evening. Bonus: You control the lighting and music from your iPad. One Sotheby's International RealtyEloy D. Carmenate, 305-673-4808

    Open kitchen with sleek white island.

    Even putting aside the outdoor kitchen and pool pavilion, this Key Biscayne residence is equipped for any size gathering. When you throw this year's big holiday party, serve bites on the sleek kitchen island and your guests can find a seat at the bar, in a comfy chair with an ocean view, or inside the casual dining room. One Sotheby's International Realty, Barbara A. Lamar, 305-365-2811

    White marble dining room with ocean views.

    Invite stylish guests to dine atop marble floors, next to floor-to-ceiling windows, and under a crystal chandelier (we hope it comes with the property) inside this two-level penthouse with 180-degree ocean views. Douglas Elliman, Janet BenZvi, 305-695-6300; Christopher Leavitt, 212-891-7011

    Living room with floating bar and ocean views.

    Take your cocktail party to the next level inside this 2,300-square-foot custom unit at The Setai Resort & Residences. A floating bar, complete with modern, wraparound shelves to display your glassware, is the focal point of the seating area (if you don't count the ocean views) and allows you, the host, to mix up cocktails while mingling with guests. Douglas EllimanOren Alexander, 212-350-8561

    In home bar with lounge area.

    If it's too chilly to hang out on the patio, there's no chicer place to serve up some holiday cocktails and hors d'oeuvres overlooking the pool than this cozy, rustic lounge inside a Mediterranean mansion. Coldwell Banker Residential Real EstateGilles Rais, 954-527-5900


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    It's never too early to start craving your favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Temper your appetite until the big day with upscale comfort food at these Miami restaurants. 

    Side of Brussel sprouts.

    Brussels Sprouts at Tongue & Cheek

    Chef Jamie DeRosa's playful take on a side of Brussel sprouts goes far beyond typical roasted vegetables with the addition of whipped ricotta, pistachios, and diced orange for a citrus note. For a full spread of fall flavors, pair it with the dry-aged ribeye with potato confit, heirloom carrots, fried bearnaise, and Bordelaise sauce. 431 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305-704-2900

    Butternut Squash Lasagna at The Dutch

    Butternut squash will likely make an appearance on your Thanksgiving table, but until then, The Dutch's Chef de Cuisine Conor Hanlon has an entrée that highlights this seasonal staple. Part of the new fall menu, the butternut squash lasagna features sage brown butter, walnuts, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. Pair it with other fall newbies, like the candied-yam panna cotta and the sweet-and-savory Pumpkin Patch cocktail with Laird's AppleJack brandy, pumpkin purée, and rosemary. 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-938-3111

    Eggplant Parmesan at Touché Rooftop Lounge & Restaurant

    At Touché, Top Chef star Carla Pellegrino is doing what she does best: putting fall veggies in creative Italian dishes. Cozy up next to a rooftop fire pit and try one of her new fall menu items, eggplant Parmesan—an untraditional yet indulgent Thanksgiving side (or for vegetarians who aren't interested in Tofurky). Since calories don't count during the holidays, go ahead and load up on this baked dish composed of fried eggplant, cooked tomatoes, lots of basil, fresh mozzarella, and grated Parmigiano. 15 N.E. 11th St., Miami, 305-358-9848

    Polenta dish.

    Creamy Polenta at Macchialina Taverna Rustica

    Though it might not be the first thing we think of when we dream about Thanksgiving, one of Macchialina's most popular sides is transforming into a holiday entrée that we can't wait to try. Through December, fill a booth at the tavern-style spot with a few friends and split a polenta board—a generous spread of the eatery's creamy signature polenta normally served with sausage ragu and cipollini, but now available with choices like veal cheek, pork meatballs, butchers steak, organic chicken, charred scallions, escarole, mushroom fricassee, and broccolini. 820 Alton Road, Miami Beach, 305-534-2124

    Foie Gras Mousse 'n' Apples at The Federal Food Drink & Provisions

    The Federal's husband-and-wife duo Chef Cesar Zapata and Aniece Meinhold are upping the ante for the holiday season with decadent spins on fall specialties. One standout on their seasonal menu is the foie gras mousse 'n' apples, a European holiday favorite that includes brûléed apples, smoked grapes, pumpkin, and spiced chocolate powder. 5132 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-758-9559


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    Booties made for walkin' echo Miami’s ever-expanding urban landscape.

    fall bootiesRoberto Cavalli ($1,485). Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-865-1749. Proenza Schouler ($1,095). The Webster, 1220 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-674-7899. Christian Louboutin ($1,245). Neiman Marcus, Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-865-6161. Casadei ($850). Capretto Shoes, 5822 Sunset Dr., South Miami, 305-661-7767. Bottega Veneta ($1,600). Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-864-6247. Sergio Rossi ($915). Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-864-3643


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    A stunning new fragrance from Hermès takes its inspiration from iconic leather handbags—and sensual French literature.

    Jean-Claude Ellena
    Jean-Claude Ellena at his workshop in the south of France near Grasse, the perfume capital.

    When Jean-Claude Ellena became “the nose” of Hermès 10 years ago, his first port of call was the maison’s leather vault in Paris. Providing specialized storage for the skins that form the brand’s iconic luggage and handbags, “it was a marvelous treasure,” Ellena recalls, “an Ali Baba’s cave, where each piece of leather was arranged by characteristic and color.

    “There I saw and touched the most beautiful leather, even some that weighed only a few grams in my hand, so soft that I hardly dared to touch it,” he says. “I realized that each leather, tanned naturally, had a different scent, and the most beautiful and expensive pieces smelled of flowers…. I was seized by happiness and decided right then that I wanted to create a perfume inspired by leather.”

    This month, 67-year-old Ellena’s dream is realized in the form of Cuird’Ange (angel leather), a fragrance that’s both gentle and assertive, shifting between delicate heliotropes and woody hawthorn, bashful violets and narcissi, and unrestrained musk.

    Ellena’s new fragrance, Cuir d’Ange,Ellena’s new fragrance, Cuird’Ange, was inspired by Hermès’s fine leather goods, such as this Oxer saddle bag.

    As with all fragrances, there are layers of notes: the top notes that provide the first fragrant impression, the middle ones that form the heart of the scent seconds after application, and the base notes that linger long after the perfume has dried on the skin. With Cuird’Ange, the first spray bursts into a generous—but not overly floral—bouquet that’s just sweet enough for a woman and yet robust enough for a man. Minutes later, it settles into a gorgeous veil of caramel, pipe tobacco, and a sprinkling of breezy wildflowers. It feels beautiful on the skin, too, like cool, expensive, powder-soft suede...

    “Angel leather,” asserts Ellena, referencing the words of early-20th-century French author Jean Giono, who has been a source of inspiration for Ellena for over three decades. In his autobiography, Jean le Blue (Blue Boy), Giono describes his father in his cobbler’s workshop, “busy making shoes in angel leather for some god with a thousand feet.”

    For Ellena, who compares his process of creating fragrances to that of writing a book, Giono’s phrase “angel leather,” combined with his own epiphany at the Hermès vault, provided the compelling concept Ellena needed for his next fragrance masterpiece.

    Tell us more about the connection you make between literature and fragrance. I am a writer of smells. For me, perfume is more a poetic creation than a concept. It touches us, moves us, fires our imagination. I have a writer’s approach. I tell stories with perfume. Perfumers all use the same ingredients and raw materials. It’s their writing talent that makes the difference.

    Why are you inspired by the author Jean Giono? I see literature—with a capital L—as significant. It has always fueled my imagination, but it’s true I have a special relationship with Jean Giono, which must derive from our Provençal origins and how we understand the world.

    Why did it take 10 years to create Cuird’Ange? It’s a slow process—and very demanding. The hardest Fragrance thing is [figuring out] how I am going to translate the concept into a physical presence. Until the moment comes that the product matches the idea in my head, I put it aside; I come back to it later, I work on it. That’s why it can take 10 years.

    Hermes perfumeJean-Claude Ellena uses the simplest tools—pen, paper, smelling strips—and his finely tuned nose to create fragrances for Hermès.

    Cuird’Ange is appealing for both women and men. How did you accomplish that? I don’t think smells have a gender, any more than colors, sounds, or tastes do. Unfortunately, societies have created codes that we find difficult to break from. These codes are a framework that helps us live in an increasingly complex world, but one from which we sometimes want to be free. For me, perfumes are like works of art and, as such, aren’t intended for men or women, but for all mankind.

    In your book, The Diary of a Nose: A Year in the Life of a Parfumeur (Rizzoli, $25), you say there is a misconception that your perfumes contain only natural ingredients, nothing artificial. I see all ingredients as smells, whether they’re natural or artificial. I love them all. I don’t differentiate between them, so long as they serve my idea. The advent of chemical ingredients has given us a much broader olfactory palette. How lucky we are!

    What are your own personal favorite scents? The smell of human skin without perfume—my wife’s and my children’s.

    hermes perfume
    Hèrmes perfume.

    Tell us about your studio. Why did you choose to have it in Grasse? I live and work in the south of France near Grasse, the perfume capital. I was born there. It’s an incredible space, steeped in history, filled with light and smells. The workshop I come to every morning is a house designed in the ’60s and built into the side of a hill. The workshop is open; the doors are never closed. My work tools are sheets of paper, a pencil, a fountain pen, an eraser, smelling strips, and rotating smelling-strip holders. The laboratory is at the far end of the house, as far as possible from my office, so that I’m not distracted by the smell. I work exclusively from memory.

    You have created many iconic fragrances, including Van Cleef& Arpels’s First and Bulgari’s Eau Parfumée au ThéVert. Do you consider Cuird’Ange to be a new classic? I sincerely hope so—to have a perfume that stands outside of time, a perfume beyond fashions and trends.

    What’s the difference between French and American tastes in fragrance? For Americans, the notion of cleanliness dominates. Pleasure is allowed if it’s useful—for example, smelling clean and having good longevity—whereas French-style perfuming likes a bit of controversy and the body’s own smells.

    How did you finally realize your vision for Cuird’Ange. Was it a “voilà!” moment? Suddenly, an instant will come when you say, “That’s it! That’s what I was looking for.” Creating a fragrance is a terrible and terrifying process because I’m the kind of person who is continually dissatisfied until that moment comes. And then the pleasure is very short. Like sex—French-style! Cuird’Ange is number 12 in Hermès’sHermessence collection of perfumes and is available exclusively in Hermès stores. 15 Broad St., 212-785-3030; 691 Madison Ave., 212-751-3181


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    Where did bombshell Kate Upton and her boyfriend go during their weekend in Miami? This and more in this week's celebrity sightings. 

    Kate Upton.Kate Upton.

    Kate Upton and Boyfriend Spend the Weekend in Miami

    The model and her boyfriend, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, joined Miami Heat owner Micky Arison and other guests for dinner at Zuma on Sunday, November 2.

    Upton was also seen with Verlander at Bianca at Delano on Saturday, November 1. The couple sipped Melon Mules at the restaurant for about an hour before moving on.

    Gabrielle Union Hosts Birthday Party at Cafe Martorano

    The actress celebrated her 42nd birthday at Cafe Martorano on Thursday, October 30 with husband Dwyane Wade, Chris and Adrienne Bosh, Miami Heat player Udonis Haslem, and a few friends. The group watched former teammate LeBron James in the Cavaliers vs. Knicks game while enjoying an Italian dinner.

    Benicio del Toro Celebrates Halloween in Miami 

    On Friday, October 31, the Puerto Rican actor was seen having a causal dinner with friends at Zuma. Later that evening, he was spotted doing shots of Don Julio 1942 tequila at E11even with a group of friends. 

    Trey Songz Does Date Night at Seasalt and Pepper

    The R&B star was spotted at Seasalt and Pepper with date Eboni Malone on Friday, October 24. 

    Frank Ocean Drinks Poolside at Delano

    The Grammy winner was spotted poolside at Delano Beach Club with 12 people on the evening of Tuesday, October 28. The group ordered drinks—such as mojitos and Beach Club Passion specialty cocktails—from the back bar and stayed by the pool past midnight.

    MLB Stars Take the Party to E11even

    On Friday, October 24, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was spotted enjoying the off-season at the owner's table at E11even. The following evening, Puig returned with Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman. 

    On Sunday, October 26, Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar and Seattle Mariners pitcher Félix Hernández were both spotted partying early into the morning at the 24-hour club.

    Steve Aoki Gets a Late-Night Cooking Lesson

    While in town for his tour, DJ Steve Aoki dined at Il Mulino with a few friends in the early morning hours of Sunday, October 26. Aoki also had an impromptu cooking lesson with Il Mulino manager Brian Diaz on the restaurant's tableside burners.

    Andrew Zimmern Takes a Beach Day at SLS

    The Bizarre Foods host and his wife were spotted at the beach at SLS South Beach on Saturday, October 26. The couple ordered the churrasco, escalivada, and salads.

    Director Michael Bay Dines at Cavalli

    On Friday, October 24, the film director was seen dining at Cavalli.

    PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF ROMMEL DEMANO/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE DAILY FRONT ROW


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    Find out which watches star alongside Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Chastain in Christopher Nolan's latest film. 

    Matthew McConaughey stars in Interstellar.Scene from Interstellar wherein a Hamilton watch is a star.

    The Hamilton watch brand has long been known for its leading role in Hollywood, with more than 60 years on the screen. It started with 1951 Oscar-nominated movie The Frogmen, wherein the brand equipped the naval divers with Hamilton watches—much as it had during World War II. Since then Hamilton watches have appeared in more than 400 movies, including Blue Hawaii, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Men in Black, and A Good Day to Die Hard.

    Now, Hamilton announces that two of its watches star in the new Christopher Nolan film, Interstellar, out in theaters. Interstellar by Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. is an epic adventure, wherein Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is equipped with a Hamilton Khaki Pilot Day Date watch. The Khaki Pilot Day Date features an aviator design perfect for Cooper’s pioneering spirit. Cooper’s daughter Murph (Jessica Chastain) wears an exclusive watch developed by Hamilton specifically for her character. This watch is a unique and customized piece, composed of different elements of signature Hamilton watches perfectly suited to her character.

    Hamilton watch sketches.Hamilton drawings of the Khaki Special Edition Interstellar worn by "Murph."

    "Our work with Interstellar exemplifies the ongoing relationship we’ve had with Hollywood for the past six decades and how we’ve collaborated with many talented, behind-the-scenes professionals to help bring their characters to life,” said Sylvain Dolla, CEO of Hamilton International.

    Because of Hamilton’s long relationship with Hollywood—and its close interaction with the stylists, prop-masters, and other people behind the scenes—the brand created and continues to sponsor the annual Behind the Camera Awards, when Hamilton honors the talented individuals who work magic behind the scenes each year. 

     

    Founder and editor-in-chief of ATimelyPerspective.com, Roberta Naas is a veteran award-winning journalist in the watch industry with more than 25 years of experience. She was the first woman watch editor in the US market—breaking in to an “all boys network” with a pioneering spirit that would be her signature to this day. Naas brings responsible, factual—yet always timely and insightful—reporting of the watch industry to the forefront.


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    Conservation International's new Nature Is Speaking campaign seeks to redefine the conversation about the relationship between people and nature. In a series of short films, celebrities lend their voices to parts of nature, such as the rainforest, ocean, and redwood. All deliver an important message everyone needs to hear: Nature doesn't need people. People need nature.

    This week's film features Penélope Cruz as The Water. Watch below and learn more on natureisspeaking.org


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    If you haven't had lunch yet, be warned: Following these local chefs on Instagram will have your mouth watering in no time. Below, see how Miami's culinary masters shoot the ultimate Instagram food pic.

    Jose Mendin

     

    A photo posted by Jose Mendin (@chefmendin) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/CHEFMENDIN

    Pubbelly fans can take a culinary tour of the group's eateries via Chef Jose Mendin's pork-centric Instagram posts. He's even getting us revved up for Thanksgiving with this holiday-inspired food pic of a loaded baked sweet potato with chorizo stuffing, cranberry relish, bourbon maple gastrique, and marshmallow meringue. Who needs the turkey when you have this in front of you?

    Jamie DeRosa

     

    A photo posted by Jamie DeRosa (@jamiederosa) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/JAMIEDEROSA

    Chef Jamie DeRosa keeps his followers up to date on the new arrivals at Tongue & Cheek; you'll want to make a reservation immediately after seeing dishes like this pumpkin snickerdoodle brunch bar. DeRosa also uploads photos of foodie and fitness events around town, so you'll be in the know even if you can't attend. 

    Michael Shikany

     

    A photo posted by CHEF MICHAEL SHIKANY (@shikany) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/SHIKANY

    Chef Michael Shikany displays his culinary creations from Wynwood restaurant SHIKANY like art—or a science project—with presentations that are perfect for Instagram, like this amuse-bouche with a baby squid bow and sake injection.

    Roel Alcudia

     

    A photo posted by Roel Alcudia (@roel_alcudia) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/ROEL_ALCUDIA

    The Cypress Room's Chef de Cuisine Roel Alcudia makes everything from sardines to foie gras look pretty on their plates. His uploads span images of food, ingredients, and supplies for the restaurant, to visits to his favorite restaurants around the States.

    Hedy Goldsmith

     

    A photo posted by Hedy Goldsmith (@hedygoldsmith) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/HEDYGOLDSMITH

    If you haven't tried any of Hedy Goldsmith's desserts at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, Harry's Pizzeria, or The Cypress Room, the pastry chef's photos will inspire you to head right over for one of these treats and hog the spoon all to yourself.

    Todd Erickson

     

    A photo posted by Todd Erickson (@iamcheftodd) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/IAMCHEFTODD

    With his Instagram bio declaring that he's a "tickler of taste buds" and a "food pornographer," Executive Chef Todd Erickson delivers what he promises. Even this vegan display of mushrooms and tofu from Haven looks divine when he snaps a pic.

    Peter Vauthy

     

    A photo posted by Peter A Vauthy (@redsteakhouse) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/REDSTEAKHOUSE

    RED, The Steakhouse's Executive Chef Peter Vauthy takes his followers from fresh ingredients to finished dishes. What came before this plate of applewood bacon-wrapped prawns stuffed with Maine lobster mascarpone? These fresh Mamba prawns

    Giorgio Rapicavoli

     

    A photo posted by Giorgio Rapicavoli (@grapicavoli) on

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA INSTAGRAM.COM/GRAPICAVOLI

    In between hitting up dining hot spots around the world, Eating House's Giorgio Rapicavoli shows off the travel-fueled food he whips up back home, like these chichurrones made with pork skin, cinnamon, and caramel-apple sauce.


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    Want to hand Thanksgiving prep over to the pros? We don't blame you. This year, spend the holiday scarfing down a festive feast at one of these top Miami restaurants.

    Pumpkin cheesecake.The Forge's pumpkin cheesecake.

    Thanksgiving Dinner at The Forge

    Executive Chef Christopher Lee is making his first Florida Thanksgiving one for the books with a four-course feast. After an autumn salad and the starter dish of your choice—like the crispy Jonah crab cake with Granny Smith apple, frisee, black garlic, and lemon-horseradish aioli—you'll be ready for the main event: herb-roasted turkey breast and 24-hour braised dark meat with fennel sausage stuffing, potato puree, and orange-cranberry sauce. Save room for the pumpkin cheesecake or chocolate and orange mousse bombe. 432 W. 41st St., Miami Beach, 305-538-8533 

    All-Day Thanksgiving Menu at SUGARCANE raw bar grill

    Turkey and stuffing take on a different form this Thanksgiving at SUGARCANE. Executive Chef Timon Balloo brings the traditional meal to a whole new level with oven-roasted and fried turkey served alongside chorizo bread pudding and drizzled with mojo cranberry pan dripping. And this is just one entrée on the three-course holiday menu available 11:30 a.m.-midnight. What else can you look forward to? Roasted pumpkin soup with truffled manchego croutons to start, and a pumpkin praline tart for dessert. 3252 N.E. First Ave., Miami, 786-369-0353

    Four-Course Dinner at The Restaurant at The Setai

    Executive Chef Mathias Gervais puts his French spin on Thanksgiving dinner for the four-course prix fixe from 6-11 p.m. To the sounds of a classical guitarist, feast on a decadent dish like poached Maine lobster with bisque poivre rose and Sauterne wine fricassée of fall vegetables, or roasted ballotine turkey breast and legs stuffed with chestnut and mortadella and served with sweet potato dauphine and honey-cranberry jus. 2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-520-6400

    Deviled eggs.Yardbird's signature deviled eggs. 

    Thanksgiving Supper at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

    From noon-8:30 p.m., Yardbird presents a special turkey dinner—the spotlight's on roasted turkey with gravy and cranberry port sauce—with a spread of Southern favorites, including house-made buttermilk biscuits, cornbread and sage stuffing, deviled eggs topped with "redneck caviar," and gourmet green bean casserole. The toughest decision you'll have to make is picking caramel apple bread pudding or spiced pumpkin pie for dessert. 1600 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach, 305-538-5220

    Family-Style Spread at The Bazaar by José Andrés

    Andrés is doing Thanksgiving his way at SLS South Beach with family-style specials added to the regular dinner menu from 6-9 p.m. Come for Latin and South Florida-inspired fare like butifarra cornbread stuffing with guindilla and piquillo peppers and pork sausage, caramelized plantains with crispy pork belly and onions, and for dessert, deconstructed pumpkin pie with toasted graham, meringue, and cinnamon air. 1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-455-5000

    PHOTOGRAPHY VIA FACEBOOK.COM/SUGARCANERAWBARGRILL; YARDBIRD 


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    The Chopin Foundation explores the Polish composer’s mastery with a concert at La Gorce Country Club.

    Margarita Shevchenko
    Pianist Margarita Shevchenko.

    When Miami pianist Margarita Shevchenko visited the birthplace home of Frédéric Chopin in the tiny Polish village of Zelazowa Wola, she couldn’t resist placing her own hand next to the metal cast of Chopin’s that was sitting on the piano. “Chopin’s hands were the same size as my hands; I was so amazed,” says Shevchenko.

    Chopin may not have been physically imposing, but the early-19th-century composer’s music has had a titanic impact on the culture of the West. And yet it may come as a surprise to South Floridians to learn that the Chopin Foundation of the United States, established nearly 40 years ago, is based in Miami.

    The foundation presents seven concert programs each season, and this month, Shevchenko, a Russian-born pianist who has lived in the US for 20 years (and since 2006 in Sunny Isles Beach), will be the guest artist for a foundation concert at La Gorce Country Club in Miami Beach. Shevchenko will play three works by Chopin—the Third Sonata, the Polonaise-Fantaisie, and the so-called “Heroic” Polonaise—and two pieces by Russian composers: the Sonata No. 2 of Alexander Scriabin and the Dumka of Pyotr Tchaikovsky.

    The recital is part of the foundation’s salon series, which debuted in 1980 and is open to the public, providing a very social atmosphere in which to enjoy great music. “People love it because if they stay after, they can talk to the artist,” says the foundation’s executive director, Jadwiga Gewert. “It’s a lovely place, with lovely food and wine, and nice people. What else could you want?”

    The three Chopin works range from serious to wildly imaginative to brash and populist. In the slow third movement of the sonata, Shevchenko says she tries to reach for something elevated. “It’s not just pretty music with a singing melody and accompaniment. It has greatness, it has grace…. It’s like Bach on Olympus,” she says. “It’s an exalted image of something that has nothing to do with our lives on earth. It’s so much higher—a higher degree of existence.”

    Shevchenko, 46, who taught for seven years at the Cleveland Institute of Music before moving south, will be one of nine judges in the foundation’s 2015 Chopin National Piano Competition, scheduled for February 20 to March 1 (Chopin’s 205th birthday) at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium.

    The Polish-born Gewert says Chopin means something very special to the people of her home nation. “In Poland, when you talk about Chopin, you say ‘Chopin is.’ No one says, ‘Chopin was,’” says Gewert. “It is like Chopin is still alive.”

    The Chopin Salon Concert with Margarita Shevchenko takes place on November 16 at La Gorce Country Club, 5685 Alton Road, Miami Beach. Tickets are $45 for nonmembers, $100 with dinner.


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    Interior designer Tui Pranich expands his high-end design approach into new territory.

    Tui Pranich
    Tui Pranich in his Miami Beach home. His eponymous company offers high-style, affordable furniture packages that can be assembled, delivered, and installed within 72 hours.

    Look for a signature style from globe-trotting international interior designer Tui Pranich and you won’t find one. Yet there is a common thread in all the interiors he designs for superstar clients like Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, and Francis Ford Coppola—all are endowed with sumptuous and supremely livable spaces tailored to suit the lifestyle of the people who live in them. “I don’t follow trends because they come and go,” says Pranich, who was born in Thailand and educated in Switzerland and New York before starting his interior design business in Palm Beach and New York in 1985. “Instead, I focus on classical elements that aren’t flashy—good design should last forever,” he says, noting that his approach is about establishing a foundation that encourages “the art of living well.”

    While he continues to create high-end interiors for private clients around the world, Pranich recently turned his attention on bringing his distinct view of style to a broader audience by fine-tuning and scaling up his Tui Lifestyle business, a groundbreaking home furnishings company he launched in Miami in 2008. The concept behind the business is based on what Pranich calls “a soup-to-nuts approach to design” and revolves around a collection of affordable high-style room packages, which are assembled and delivered to his clients in short order. “If you buy an apartment at Apogee, for example, we can pull up a floor plan of your unit, do a layout of the furniture on a CAD system in 15 to 20 minutes, and then deliver and install everything within 72 hours,” he explains, adding that Tui Lifestyle’s services go beyond design, furniture, and installation. “We also offer everything else you would need for a turnkey home, such as the TV, bed linens, garbage can, and ironing board.”

    Tui Pranich
    Pranich’s living room. “I don’t follow trends,” says the designer, emphasizing instead what he calls “the art of living well.”

    Since its inception, the company’s ability to merge high style and quality with convenience, service, and affordability has allowed it to respond to a diverse mix of unmet market demands. “The majority of our clients are foreign buyers and developers,” says Pranich. Miami’s top developers, including Jorge Pérez, Ugo Colombo, and Gil Dezer, have relied on Tui Lifestyle to create model units at the Icon, Viceroy, and Epic in Miami and the Trump Royale in Sunny Isles. The company also works with investors who buy apartments to rent out furnished, part-time residents who want one-stop assistance in furnishing a pied-à-terre, and young professionals who want to simply and stylishly outfit first-time apartments. So far, Tui Lifestyle has developed 15 furniture packages ranging from about $15,000 to $45,000 and comprising modern, transitional, or traditional elements, any of which can be mixed and matched and are available to see and feel in the company’s showrooms, including those in the Design District and Aventura.

    After partnering earlier this year with Turkish investor and media mogul Sevin Ergun, Tui Lifestyle also announced plans to expand its offerings to other parts of the country, including Los Angeles and Las Vegas, as well as to South America and the Middle East. With this outreach into new markets, the company will introduce new collections, which are named for notable streets in the cities that inspired them, such as Ocean Drive, Fifth Avenue, or Avenue Montaigne. 18000 State Road 9, Miami, 305-652-0232; Miami Design District, 25 NE 39th St., 305-573-5411


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    A development vice president and high-end turnkey designer developer explain why Miami's new billionaire residents are paying tens of millions for the idea that less is more.

    Patrick Campbell and Troy Dean Ippolito at the Marea Sales Gallery.
    Patrick Campbell and Troy Dean Ippolito at the Marea Sales Gallery.

    With close to 200 developments currently underway in South Florida, buyers have an almost infinite number of options. But for the world’s billionaires interested in snapping up a piece of Miami, the most alluring choices are the most boutique—both in quality and quantity. Patrick Campbell, vice president at The Related Group, and Troy Dean Ippolito, CEO and creative director of Troy Dean Interiors, discuss.

    One Ocean in Miami’s exclusive South of Fifth is designer ready.
    One Ocean in Miami’s exclusive South of Fifth is designer ready.

    Patrick Campbell: [In] all areas of development right now, whether it’s Sunny Isles, South Beach, downtown, or Coconut Grove, there is always a portion that is boutique. If you’re buying new and you’re paying at the top of that price point in that area, you want the best, and that usually ends up being the few boutique buildings in those areas.

    Troy Dean Ippolito: If you’re in a boutique building, you’re going to be north in sales of anything else. There’s a clear delineation with branded boutique, which is a name brand like an Armani or Fendi building, and boutique in the sense of the quantity. Once you have that lower quantity or that boutique name, that is going to draw people to spend more.

    PC: [Low] quantity yields exclusivity. In Sunny Isles, there are 10 projects going on right now. You have Porsche and Armani; all the names are there, so what then differentiates is the size of the building.

    TDI: Right, the quantity. You have the name brands, and then you get to something like the Regalia where there’s no name brand associated with it. But it has 38 units—one floor per unit—whereas Porsche has [132 units], Armani has 170 units. Again, not boutique in quantity, but it is in quality.

    PC: In South of Fifth, one [difference] is the exclusivity [of having] only 30 [residences, as in Marea]. Both [One Ocean and Marea] are designer ready. Discerning buyers know exactly what they want, and they don’t want the same thing as 30 other people.

    The view from One Ocean.
    The view from One Ocean.

    TDI: I agree. People who are purchasing a unit for their eighth or ninth home are acquiring it like cars. Some people collect cars; people with billions of dollars collect residences. At that point, it’s not about how much it’s going to be worth one day. It’s just about what they want. We’re designing the [Regalia] beach house now, which is 11,000 square feet. We designed it to be very warm and earthy and beachy but luxurious. When you have units going for $10 million, $12 million raw, there’s nothing stopping someone from spending $30 to $40 million for a finished unit that is 11,000 square feet. We just proved it. [On] the 24th floor in the building, we did a luxury [model] unit, the lifestyle unit. Ours was the one the most money was spent on. The paint hadn’t been dry for two weeks and it was gone. It was $1 million of furniture, $1.5 million in backgrounds. And that was without kitchens and bathrooms.

    PC: Both [One Ocean and Marea are] so high end, we’re doing things we wouldn’t normally do: some floor-plan modifications, kitchen finish changes. We’re catering to a few people who are at the very high end of our market. We’re making 20 or 30 changes, so it’s manageable from a development standpoint. They are getting personalized service. You have to go to our Park Grove project. With Bill Sofield, it’s a little more traditional, more New York. He’s known for his Tom Ford stores. For Miami, it’s more of a departure; it brings a bit more New York contemporary. The first building, a 72-unit boutique residence, launched in July [with] units averaging $1,100 a square foot. Not including our penthouses, the units are between $2.5 to $5 million. They probably average almost 3,000 square feet.

    TDI: Regardless of what level it’s done at, if you’re doing a $13 million or a $30 million unit, if it’s done right, it’s going to sell. The buyers know that they’ve walked into something that has been done properly. That’s what is really driving today’s market.

    The Related Group, Marea Sales Gallery, 91 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-938-1001; Troy Dean Interiors, 23 NW Eighth Ave., Hallandale Beach, 954-458-6075


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    This month, Anthony Shriver’s Miami-based Best Buddies International hosts a bike rally and gala to help support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    Best Buddies International
    Anthony Shriver speaking at the 2013 Best Buddies Challenge Miami at Marlins Park, one of a number of global Best Buddies events that together raised $55 million for the organization.

    Anthony Shriver not only heads Best Buddies International, the organization dedicated to creating professional and personal opportunities for people with disabilities, he is also arguably one of its most active participants. Shriver has at any given time so many Buddies—coordinated one-on-one friendships with a person facing intellectual or developmental challenges—he can never actually produce a number. That’s because after enough time, the relationships simply morph into ordinary friendships. Shriver spends time with Buddies boating and at the movies, they go to his children’s sporting events, and he attends their weddings. Some have summered with Shriver in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. “That’s the goal, that’s the ultimate litmus test for us,” says Shriver. “That it’s a natural thing. If you have a person with special needs in your life, it helps focus your moral compass, helps create humility, shapes your value system. It enriches your life and your soul.”

    On November 21, more than 800 prominent business leaders, sports figures, and celebrities will have an opportunity to support the cause—some for a night, others for longer—by attending the organization’s annual gala, held at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. This year, the theme will be Southeast Asia, in celebration of a Best Buddies office opening in that region.

    The Miami extravaganza joins a global collection of Best Buddies events, such as the Boston 100-mile bike ride from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to Hyannis Port, and a ride from Carmel, California, to Hearst Castle, ending with a gourmet dinner, complete with celebrity guests and massages, that together raise $55 million a year. In Miami, too, there’s a 62-mile bike ride the morning of the gala, starting and ending at Marlins Park, winding through corners of the city that include Key Biscayne and Miami Beach, with many of the busiest roads closed off to cars.

    Best Buddies International
    With Miami Challenge cyclist Mahlia Lindquist, during the 62-mile ride through Miami last year.

    Today, Best Buddies International has a positive ripple effect on more than 800,000 lives a year, including those of volunteers, job-placement personnel, and of course the men, women, boys, and girls who have, through the organization, achieved financial independence and emotional fulfillment. In addition to fostering friendships, the organization also has leadership training programs to help this group get ahead in fields such as music, writing, and business. It also helps create white-collar career opportunities for the demographic.

    A work environment can be fulfilling for a Buddy, but Buddies have a positive effect on others as well. A recent report compiled by the Institute for Corporate Productivity found that 60 percent of high-performing organizations said that hiring this group supports a diversity and inclusion strategy, 43 percent said it produces measurable and observable business benefits, and 57 percent reported the addition of highly motivated employees.

    “We’re making people aware of this treasure of the workforce that’s sitting on the bench,” says Shriver. “It transforms the cultural environment, it makes a business more successful, and it makes the people more proud. It’s crucial as a leader to have this kind of spirit in your staff. It keeps your employees thriving and growing. So many challenges are solved when people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have jobs. This segment of the population is left on the sidelines, and that’s a disgrace.”

    Best Buddies International
    Shriver with Mack Cycle & Fitness owner Mary Jane Mark, Roberio Bezerra, and Louis Aguirre at last year’s ride.

    Shriver founded Best Buddies in 1989, when he was a senior at Georgetown University, because he believed that a powerful relationship with his disabled aunt, Rosemary Kennedy, had benefited them both. The first Best Buddies event was on a farm in Maryland, where he and 52 other college students hosted hayrides and corn husking for their peers with disabilities. His roommate at the time became the organization’s treasurer and today remains on the board of the Connecticut chapter.

    “When something is new, people have few expectations,” says Shriver, laughing now about some of the early flaws, including a few buses arriving late. “They were excited we were doing something—there was a sense of energy.”

    Shriver moved the organization to Miami 22 years ago after getting a grant for Best Buddies from the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, and still sees that early energy in this city. “There’s something special about Miami and the people who live here,” says Shriver. “It’s energetic and thriving and adolescent. That can really fuel organizations that are moving forward. But at the end of the day, we’re successful because of our Buddies. They’re the greatest fuel in the fire we’ve got. If we have our Buddies, we can go anywhere.” The Best Buddies Miami Challenge takes place November 21 at Marlins Park, 501 Marlins Way, Miami; the Best Buddies Miami Gala is held that evening at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Ave. Visit bestbuddies.org for registration and details.


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